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Monday, 11 June, 2001, 07:14 GMT 08:14 UK

Local Elections


Monday, 11 June, 2001, 07:14 GMT 08:14 UK
Local elections: 7 June
Tony Blair
Tony Blair postponed the local elections because of foot-and-mouth
As well as the general election, local elections are taking place on 7 June in England and Northern Ireland.

The English local polls were originally scheduled to be held on 3 May, but Tony Blair postponed them because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

The change required emergency legislation to be rushed through both houses of parliament.

This round of local elections was previously contested on 1 May 1997, the same day as the last general election.

Control

Polls are being conducted for 34 county councils across England. In each case, the whole council is up for re-election.

There are also polls in 11 unitary authorities in England.

In two cases - the Isle of Wight and Southend - the whole council is being elected; in the other nine, only one third of the seats are being fought over.

Of the 34 county councils, the Conservatives currently control 11, Labour nine, the Liberal Democrats three and independent councillors one. In the other 10, no single party or group has a majority.

Of the 11 unitary authorities, seven are run by Labour, one by the Conservatives and the rest have no majority parties.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, elections are taking place in all 26 district councils.

Some 582 councillors will be elected by the Single Transferable Vote system of proportional representation, under which voters rank candidates in order of preference.

Each council is divided into between three and five district electoral areas - except Belfast, which has nine. Each area returns between five and seven councillors.

Counting will not begin until Monday, 11 June because of the general election. The final results will not be known until the following day.

The last time these councils were contested was on 21 May, 1997.

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